PowerUp Heroes was developed and published by Ubisoft. It was released on October 18th, 2011.
PowerUp Heroes is all about becoming a hero and using superpowers in order to save the world from Malignace, an evil alien who is out to enslave the human race. Being a hero is something a lot of people dream about and while you can’t quite choose the exact powers you want, you are given a reasonably large choice of powers.
Here’s what we liked:
The Powers - The suits that you unlock throughout the game are varied and have some interesting powers sets attached to it. While everyone does have their favourite power sets, the game does do a good job at bringing them all together. It sticks to some staples like lightening and fire but then gives you ninja and bionic in return. The UPlay suits that you can unlock actually add some much loved Ubisoft characters (at least in spirit) to the game too. These are easily some of the more interesting powers, mainly because of the uniqueness of the characters they are drawn from.
Makes you sweat - Kinect games in general tend to be physical, but the ones that give you just enough of a workout to be fun are the ones that work best. Standing around gently moving one arm isn’t that fun, but moving back and forth and feeling like your movements actually impact the gameplay makes you more involved in the game. Dodging around your room and jumping around get incredibly fun in the heat of battle.
Pulling off combos - By stringing together powers as well as changing between suits you can maximize the damage you deal to your opponent. Not only does it do a lot of damage, it looks awesome and makes you feel incredibly powerful when you see a chain of powers lighting up an area and you know that it was all you.
Here’s what we didn’t like:
Turn based strategy - The problem with the game is that it feels almost turn based. The powers take a short time to activate or go through the animation, but not timing it right will leave you vulnerable. It feels like its forcing you to wait for the enemy to make a move so that you can dodge it and make a counter attack in the small window of opportunity that appears. It slows you down and messes up the flow of combat.
Close combat - Obviously we like to get into the thick of combat and apply some smashing to the enemy. Almost as much as we like to zap, burn, slice, and crush them with our powers, but the close combat feels like you are floundering about too much. Then it all ends with a disappointing quick time event with very little room for error. Not being fast enough with the QTE will turn the combat in the enemy’s favour, as they hit you back for much more than you gave them in your flailing attack.
Short campaign – The campaign is the only real substance to the game, as lag gets the better of you during online matches, making them frustrating to play. We enjoyed the game while it lasted, but the lack of things to do afterwards makes it difficult for us to come back to. There is always the ability to replay matches, but only the final boss and one or two lone suits will be a challenge after completion.
In the end, PowerUp Heroes is a game that tries to make use of the Kinect in a way that other games don’t. For the most part it works, but the lack of variety leads to stale gameplay pretty soon after the campaign is complete.
Score: Try It